Do you get overwhelmed by all the news about global warming?
During all this change and “new normals,” it‘s natural to want to numb out.
So here are the steps I teach and use everyday to care for oneself while in the middle of a messed-up world.
Relax. Always, always relax as much as you can.
Now if you’re tempted to ward off feelings of overwhelm with more wine than you used to drink with dinner— it’s understandable. Salud!
Occasional off-gassing is needed in a global crisis. But do try to balance those indulgences with restorative, non-efforting, lazy pastimes. Some ideas:
- taking naps
- swaying in a hammock while reading a book that has absolutely nothing to do with today’s craziness
- going for a casual non-heart-rate-increasing stroll
- watching incredibly escapist movies
Make little staycations part of your life so you can toggle OFF for a bit. That way when you flip the switch, you have the energy reserves to be creative enough to get through any problem.
2. STAY WITH THE BIG THREE
- Eat well
- Get lots of sleep
We’ve heard this “todo” list for years, right? Blah, blah, blah. Yet, now more than ever in your life, it’s what really, really, REALLY matters.
But, you argue, this is supposed to be an article about how to be lazy and thrive. True! Looking to your couch as a bastion of leisure, you can eat well on your couch, sleep on your couch, and … you can exercise ON YOUR COUCH.
In overwhelm mode, exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do. Besides, I said this is the lazy person’s guide and I meant it. However, your body called me and told me it misses you.
It wants you to know you can be a lazy exerciser! Try out a leisurely walk while texting. Or you could stay planted on your sofa and stretch, while listening to a book or podcast.
The time you spend with your body is the most important thing. When you start to allocate the time consistently, magic happens. You’re more relaxed in the rest of your life and, it could be possible that you’ll start to naturally feel inclined to build up to other physical levels.
I know this may sound outlandish now, but let’s just imagine that you build up to say, running. Running and other types of heart-increasing outputs are relaxing. Moving and feeling your breath deepen lets go of tension. Then there is the brain chemistry redo with exercise, which is some happy-making stuff.
The benefits flow into the rest of your life, like better food choices and sleep. Also you won’t feel an ounce of guilt for sitting when you can stand or laying down when you can sit.
3. BLOW YOUR MIND—BY GIVING
Margaret Mead, an iconic anthropologist, was asked by a student when she thought civilization began. Ms. Mead said 15,000 years ago. That’s when someone was buried who had a broken femur (thigh bone) that had mended, which takes three to six months. In the wild, if an animal (humans included) broke a thigh bone they are hobbled so severely that they become food for another. That’s why there had been no earlier human skeletons found with a broken femur. But this lucky human was connected to someone, or a few people, who cared for them at great inconvenience in the day (alas, there was no takeout delivery). And that is the very definition of civilization. We look out for each other, even when it may be tough.
When you give and care, you’re getting out of your isolated world of concern and nature rewards you for it. She jumpstarts your neurochemistry to make you feel fantastic. Researchers call it the “Giver’s Glow”. From the ease of pushing a donate-button from the splendor that is your settee, you naturally give yourself a rush of feel-good brain chemicals: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. I call them the DOSE for short.
And get this …
Consistent givers are healthier, more respected, and richer because they give.
All things being equal: age, geographical location, socio-economic strata—givers elevate their lives because they’re generous over and over.
So let’s go to the next level and look at the idea of what if all those who could afford it (adults in the middle class and above) gave enough to drawdown roughly 113 tonnes of carbon a year?
It looks like, numbers wise, we could get the carbon back to 1850 levels in 30 years (which means we’d start to see the reversal of global warming). Your cranium still in one piece? Hold on and keep reading …
If we adults did this crazy giving thing, we’d be doing good for the planet while we were happier, healthier, and wealthier. You see how this is a win-win deal?
So, really, the only thing stopping us from watching such a reclined-revolution take place where everyday folk finance a swift change is us … not wanting to spend more time chillin’ on the couch.
Well, that’s about it …I’m feeling snacky.
Can I get you something while I’m up?